I’ve heard this phrase for years, decades even.
But I’ve been wondering lately what a person is to do if the quality of the lemonade is dubious, not up to expectations, or perhaps not even fit for consumption.
Do we politely sip it anyway?
Do we question the source to attempt to determine why the quality seems to have slipped?
Do we just say, “Oh, it’s for a good cause. Suck it up! It’s good enough!”
Colleen Cruz offers us much wisdom in her book, Risk. Fail. Rise.
What are mistakes? Are they “missed takes”?
During our #G2Great chat in February of 2021, Colleen defined mistakes for us.
Surprise! We thought it was going to go one way. But it went another!
And I was ready to talk about tons of mistakes.
Two real-life examples
Gravy too thin? A secret ingredient for quick thickening might be two tablespoons of instant mashed potatoes.
In quilting: A narrow seam might “fix” a seam that is pulled too tightly.
But the subtitle of Colleen’s book is:
“A Teacher’s Guide to Learning from Mistakes”
Recounting mistakes is not the end goal. My list could probably be a mile or two long.
Learning from Mistakes.
Where does the learning come from?
I liked the element that Jill added:
The learning begins with reflection and knowing a bit more about the types of mistakes that occur.
Getting beyond mistakes are “good” or “bad” takes some work or study. Not all mistakes are equal. Four kinds of mistakes include: stretch mistakes, aha moment mistakes, sloppy mistakes, and high-stakes mistakes.McVeigh, https://literacylenses.com/2021/02/risk-fail-rise-a-teachers-guide-to-learning-from-mistakes/
The life mistakes with gravy and quilting were/are not earth shattering. Annoying? Yes. Easily rectified? Yes.
But they do require an awareness of the end product. A road map of our destination. An expectation or approximation of that end goal/ success criteria!
Who decides what is good enough? What if we set the bar too low> What if “any lemonade” becomes our goal and the quality drops off? Will we continue to make lemonade? Are we willing to adjust/adapt to maintain a certain criteria of excellence? Who determines the criteria?
Do give yourself grace.
It’s going to be another wild year.
But continue to have high expectations. Your life will be richer for all that you maintain high expectations. It will be up to you to determine where and how many mistakes you want to share. (Many folks won’t notice them. Others will notice and name many.)
The key is being willing (#OLW) to reflect on the “fails” in order to learn and grow your own list of accomplishments.
You get to set the criteria! Go for the Olympic Gold! Set some worthy characteristics!
Be flexible. Grow and learn. Don’t settle for making lemonade. Make the best lemonade possible!
When is “Good Enough” really Good Enough?
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Check out the writers and readers here.
“Not all Mistakes are Equal.”Cruz, M. Colleen. (2020). Risk.Fail.Rise. A Teacher’s Guide to Learning from Mistakes. Heineman, p. 2.
While baking or cooking, I sometimes make mistakes. I’m missing an ingredient, so I decide on a substitution that is “close” but not exactly what I need. Sometimes it works; sometimes it does not. If it works and I like it, I may repeat the now revised “recipe.” Other times, I may decide not to repeat it because it’s just not as I imagined or expected.
Recent quilting mistakes:
- Sewing a right side of fabric to a wrong side of a second fabric. Solution: Rip out and sew again.
2. A loopy bottom thread that does not catch and secure. Solution: Rethread the sewing machine, rip out the stitching, and sew again.
3. A seam frays and becomes loose when turned inside out. Solution 1: Tear out one inch, tuck inside and topstitch. Solution 2: Tear out and restitch the entire seam to reduce pressure and likelihood of “refraying.” Solution 3: Pay more careful attention to seam width on corners and thick seams on next item.
Hmmm. Multiple steps to solutions. More than one solution depending on the mistake. It’s complicated!
Risk-taking is an issue. It’s often “easier” to ignore or downplay our mistakes as adults. But what if we instead took the opportunity to explore the growth possibilities as we model our own responses to mistakes for our students and family members. This introspection is a result of the brilliance of Colleen Cruz’s research, examples and tools in this amazing book.
One quick example from the first line of the chart in Fig. 1-3 “Shift from Blame to Action” is included here.
This is a book for reflection. This is a book that has the possibility of moving you from reflection to action. And with a book study, you just may promote a culture of learning . . . “learning from mistakes.”
What is a mistake that you have made recently? What did you learn from the mistake?
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.